Treasures from the Vault: Baskets and Weaving

Discover the art of weaving and basketry in the Valley.

*** Online registration has ended. Limited seating available. First-come is first-served. ***

Learn about the art of weaving and basketry with MSV Curator of Collections, Nick Powers, during this behind-the-scenes program. Discover tools, baskets, and woven chair seats that lie hidden in Museum Storage, all created and used within the Shenandoah Valley.

There will be a discussion on various weaving methods and tools used to create white oak splint baskets, rye grass baskets, and other pieces of furniture with woven oak components, including split bottom seats.

Other topics will include the impact of the formation of the Shenandoah national park on the lives of basket makers and their families. Nick will also explore the lives of several lesser known Valley artisans, including multi-generational artisans Thomas Benton Day (1845-1920) and Oliver Day (1906-2002), and Sam Wagner (1857-1942).

Free to MSV Members; all others: $10 (includes MSV admission). Registration required by June 6; register online or call 540-662-1473, ext. 240. Limited number of tickets are available at the Front Desk on a first-come first-served basis.

Above: Attributed to Thomas Jackson "Happy Jack" Nicholson (1867-1936), Fort Valley, Shenandoah County, VA; ca. 1887-1936. Oak.

Inset: Basket Maker unknown. Attributed to the northern Shenandoah Valley, possibly Strasburg, VA; ca. 1880-1920. Oak, paint.

Nick Powers is a native of Winchester and became interested in the history and material culture of the Shenandoah Valley at a young age. Nick completed his undergraduate work at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, where he majored in History and minored in Historical Archaeology. While with the JMU Archaeology Department, Nick assisted in the excavations at the nearby Cedar Creek Battlefield. Nick later graduated from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware. There he completed his Master’s thesis on early cabinetmaking in Winchester and Frederick County. After leaving Winterthur, Nick returned home to join the staff of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley as Curator of Collections. There he oversees, researches, and exhibits the fine and decorative arts of the Shenandoah Valley ranging from the earliest settlements to the present day. Nick is a three-time graduate of the MESDA Summer Institute and last summer participated in the Classical Institute of the South Field Research Fellowship, a program that documents objects made and used in the nineteenth-century Gulf South.

Refunds for Programs and Special Events: Programs are held rain, snow, or shine, unless notified otherwise. Cancellations 5 days prior to the program or event date will be refunded, less 20% of the registration fee ($5 minimum). No refunds will be given for cancellations made 1-4 days prior to the program/event date.  Allow ten business days for refund processing. Programs cancelled by the MSV due to low enrollment or inclement weather conditions will be refunded in full or given a full credit towards a future program to be used within the year.

Thu, Jun 08 • 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm


MSV Members: Free

All Others: $10